We did a lot of breathing through our teeth: “Hee, hee, hoo. Hee, hee, hoo. Hee, hee, hoo.” The instructor said this breathing would help mitigate the pain of labor, and it did, until we hit that thing called transition (the most intense phase of labor when even the strongest women momentarily lose faith in their ability to bring new life into the world).
I was no exception. After six solid hours of labor, transition arrived, and I grabbed my husband by the collar of his shirt, pulled him close and groaned, “I can’t do this anymore!” Then I took hold of the midwife. “It’s too hard. I can’t do it.”